Grade Point

The Graduate School requires that students maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 in all numerically graded courses numbered 500 and above and in approved 400-level courses accepted as part of the major. In addition, the Social Welfare Faculty requires that the student acquire at least a 3.0 in each of the following courses: Social Welfare 580-581, 552-553, 559, 598-599, required first-year statistics courses, and the additional research methods courses and social science courses the student selects. A student whose grade for any of the classes is below 3.0 will be placed on probationary status unless a petition for exception is filed. To be removed from probation, the student must complete one of the following alternatives.


  1. Retake the course in question and obtain a 3.0 or better.
  2. Take an alternative class approved by the PhD Program Committee and obtain a 3.0 or better.
  3. Arrange with the instructor to make up performance deficiencies for the course in question. Instructor writes a memo to the PhD Program Committee outlining the arrangement.

The PhD Program Committee will not approve the appointment of a Supervisory Committee or allow the taking of the Oral General Examination while a student is on probation because of a low-grade status. It is a requirement of the Graduate School that all incompletes on required courses be removed before the General Examination is taken. Any incomplete must be removed within 2 years.

NOTE: Some departments may have stricter guidelines than those of the Graduate School. So do not assume that you can make up an incomplete course in another department within the 2-year time line.

Grading System

Graduate grades are entered as numbers, the possible values being in tenths from 4.0 through 1.7. Grades below 1.7 are recorded as 0.0 by the Registrar and do not count toward residency, total credit count, or grade and credit requirements. A minimum of 2.7 is required in each course that the Graduate School counts toward a degree. A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 is required for graduation.

See University of Washington Grading System for full table and more information.

The following letter grades also may be used:

I: Incomplete. An incomplete may be given only when students have been in attendance and have done satisfactory work to within two weeks of the end of the quarter and have furnished proof satisfactory to the instructor that the work cannot be completed because of illness or other circumstances beyond the student's control. Students may not take the Year 1 Comprehensive Exam until all first-year coursework is completed. Incompletes must be converted into passing grades before taking the General Exam. In no case may an incomplete be converted into a passing grade after a lapse of 2 years or more. Incompletes received by graduate students do not automatically convert to a 0.0 but remain a permanent part of their record.

N: No grade. Used only for hyphenated courses and courses numbered 600 (Independent Study or Research), 700 (Master's Thesis), or 800 (Doctoral Dissertation). An N grade indicates that satisfactory progress is being made, but evaluation depends on completion of the research, thesis, internship, or dissertation, at which time the instructor or supervisory committee chairperson should change the N grade(s) to one reflecting the final evaluation.

S/NS: Satisfactory/not satisfactory. This option is not available to PhD Students.

CR: Credit awarded in a course offered on a credit/no-credit basis only or in tutorial courses numbered 600 and 800. The minimum performance level required for a CR grade is determined and the grade is awarded directly by the instructor. CR is not computed in GPA calculations.

NC: Credit not awarded in a course offered on a credit/no-credit basis only or in courses numbered 600 and 800. The grade is awarded directly by the instructor and is not included in GPA calculations.

W: Withdrawal. Official withdrawal from a course may be done on-line through the seventh week of the quarter. During the first two weeks of the quarter no entry is made on the permanent academic record. The third week through the seventh week of the quarter, a W is recorded on the transcript. Refer to the Time Schedule after the seventh week of the quarter.

HW: Hardship withdrawal. Grade assigned when a graduate student is allowed a hardship withdrawal from a course after the seventh week of the quarter.
Unofficial withdrawal from a course shall result in a grade of 0.0.
The grades of W and HW do not count as completed credits nor in computation of the GPA.

X: Indicates that a grade was not submitted by instructor.

Repeating Courses

Graduate students may repeat most courses. Both the first and second grades will be included in the cumulative GPA. Subsequent grades will not be included, but will appear on the permanent record. The number of credits earned in the course will apply toward degree requirements only once.